Don’t Stop Until You’re Done

Yesterday, you read about how I was changing my workout plan. Yesterday was also the last day I worked out on the old plan, doing core and cardio.

When I say “core,” I typically mean my lower back and abs, although technically, your entire body except for your limbs can be considered your core.

I have eschewed Roman Chair back extensions and perform Straight Leg Deadlifts instead. I admit there’s a certain amount of ego involved, since Deadlifts are so much more “badass” than back extensions.

For the last day of the old routine, I decided to challenge myself and exceed my personal best for Deadlifts. Now about that. I just discovered I’ve been making a slight error in my calculations. I thought the bar for the barbell itself was 40lbs/18.14kg but I found out from several sources that it’s actually 45lbs/20.41kg. I realize that may seem like a trivial thing, but when we’re talking about entering a program involving progressive overload, that is, adding 5 to 10 pounds of weight to each exercise week over week, that 5 pounds matters.

I’m not going to go back and recalculate each weight I’ve previously recorded. Starting today, I’m going to adjust each barbell exercise so that the bar itself counts for 45lbs. For anything before today, if it was a barbell lift, just mentally add 5 pounds to the figure I previously listed.

Anyway, as you may recall, my previous personal best for Straight Leg Deadlifts was 195lbs/88.45kg (adjusting up to account for the bar’s weight) for 5 reps at the last of 5 sets (6 sets if you count the warmup). Here’s what happened yesterday. As always, I rest ~60-90 seconds between sets.

Straight Leg Deadlifts

  1. 10x 135lbs/61.23kg (warmup)
  2. 5x 165lbs/74.84kg
  3. 5x 165lbs/74.84kg
  4. 5x 185lbs/83.91kg
  5. 5x 185lbs/83.91kg
  6. 5x 205lbs/92.98kg

I moved on to do my ab work and then cardio and ended up spending just over an hour at the gym.

I had the Deadlift weight progression planned out in advance. I even wrote down the number and weight of the plates required for each lift I wanted to accomplish in my exercise log so I wouldn’t have to figure it out at the gym. I was hoping 205lbs wouldn’t blow out my back and it didn’t.

Photo credit:

The weight room was unusually crowded and there were several serious lifters there, so I was grateful I got in early and grabbed a barbell bench. There was actual competition for barbells and I was glad I was only doing one 5×5 routine. The minute I finished my last set and replaced the bar and the weight plates, another guy stepped in to do some bench presses.

I must admit that 205lbs was a challenge. I made grunting noises just getting the barbell off the floor and with each successive lift. It was a little embarrassing, actually. I wasn’t quite sure if I was going to make the last two reps, but determination did what needed to get done and I made it.

For the first time in my life in the gym, I deadlifted something that weighs (slightly) more than I do.

I checked back in my log, and even a few weeks ago, I couldn’t have lifted this heavy. Or maybe I could but I was being overly careful. Well, better careful than injured.

When I look at what I lift measured in kilos, the numbers seem disappointing, especially when I see what others lift. I figure 100kg is just a hair under 221lbs, so that’s what I plan to work up to…gradually. Hopefully, as what I can lift gets heavier, my body will get lighter, at least as far as body fat is concerned.

Friday night, with the wife being out of town, I turned into a junk food junkie for the evening and the scales reflected that reality the next morning. I have no one but myself to blame, but the set back is only temporary. I’m still getting stronger. The future is wide open for me.

It is for you, too.

Oh, one more thing, I found a YouTube video of a 55-year-old man deadlifting 315lbs for 1 rep. I’ll present that below, but I also saw a somewhat longer video of a 65-year-old man first deadlifting 350lbs for 10 reps, and then lifting an amazing 565 pounds for his 1 rep max. The video quality is poor so I’ll just offer the link here.

Now here’s 55-year-old Ron Levin and his 315 pound 1 rep deadlift. Enjoy.

I don’t stop when I’m tired. I only stop when I’m done.

Marilyn Monroe

Okay, this really is the last “one more thing”. I found a very interesting website about 5x5s called that contains an amazing amount of information about this method of strength training. To give credit were credit is due, I found the link to Stronglifts at the Lethally Fit blog. To find out how strong “Lethally” is, check out how much she can lift.


2 thoughts on “Don’t Stop Until You’re Done

  1. Stronglifts is a good program. Have used it myself. and am currently using it. But the god of strength training is Mark Rippeto. You might want to check out his book, Starting Strength. Lots of good info there. Enjoying your blog, btw.


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